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Conversation between Sofia Bastidas and Olivia Ramos.
Littlest Sister Art Fair, Art Basel Week 2015
Portion of poster.
BASTIDAS: Hola Hola Chica!
RAMOS: Hola Sofia
thank you for joining us
Thank you for having me!
The project Little Sister, tell me more about it
Littlest Sister is a "faux" art fair, that Anthony Spinello first put together in 2007, the idea was to fool the visitors to come to the gallery and see some local artwork, basically he capitalized from the art fair phenomena to give local artists a platform to show their work
and all the artist are always women?
Well at that time no.
today yes, this will be Littlest Sister 4th edition
This year Littlest Sister will give SOLO Booths to ten unrepresented women. All Miami based artists who work in painting, sculpture, design, installation, and new media.
The was a very thought curatorial process
is this the only art fair that is solely composed of local artist?
What is interesting is that by doing this, the press and media are promoting and marketing Littles Sister as one of the satellite fairs to Art Basel Miami beach.
as it should be
Hacking the system
This year Littlest Sister has also organized a strong symposium, bring together Miami's most influential women in the arts, which will create a bigger platform to discuss the issues and opportunities the fair phenomena represents.
why only women?
There is an underrepresentation of women in both the art fairs and in the local galleries.
why do you think that is?
the art market is a big part of this disparity. It's a male dominated market, making it harder for female, queer, and trans artists to access this privilege territory.
We need to talk about this, and make it evident to the public!
is the artwork included in the fair going to reflect this?
I don't think so, we are giving the artists a booth for them to show their work without having to think that is has to to reflect the thematic of the fair. Giving this space for them to show their work is a way to make a statement overall, individually each artists is doing the work they normally practice
However, some of the artist participating are addressing gender and race inequality, but that comes form their own practice, not as part of the fairs theme.
I found poster by Cara Despain about the total percentage of female artist represented by galleries in LA and NY
is it true that none of these women are currently represented by galleries?
Deon Rubi is, but in this case she is not represented with her collective, Nun, which is the one participating in Littlest Sister
Lets talk about Platform ❤
This is a new edition to Littlest Sister, in the past years it has only showcased local artists.
the new edition being that it is only women?
No that is a new sector of the fair, in the past years, Anthony didn't include a symposium.
ohh... Platform = Symposium
So this time we have an amazing line up of local panelist moderated by International professionals on the corresponding themes.
This way we can take a local conversation to a global understanding, creating a better perspective for the participants the the public.
i think this is very fitting
we want to explore the power structures and explored the social and political impact of identity, gender and sexual difference.
i wonder... is it about inequality or about the work?
for example, do male artist produce more tangible or salable artwork in general?
Well I think the market represents more male artists, that creates a big disparity, because then you have buyers interested in what the market is supporting.
And asking those questions to people who are constantly embracing the market, and going with it, is a way to open opportunity to female artists.
i don't' disagree - the reason i thought of the "artifact" is because out of all the artist Deon Rubi is the only one represented.
and she makes very palpable objects
Yes, but she is a designer and her work crosses other markets and platforms, its not only subjected to be in the "art world"?
That's one of the reason we thought having design in the fair was very important.
right... that's my point
there is a saying i really like: "if I am not the problem, there is no solution"
do most of the women included in the fair, save Deon, largely focus on performance and installation?
Here are some image I found
Ana Mendez is showing some photographs of her performance The Body is Present
Its a very mixed group
but all of these women do quite a bit of performance and installation
Yes they do.
they are not hyper-focused on any particular craft, object making, or painting even.
of course except Deon
Deon has a band and is starting to work on sculpture
Nun will be part of Littlest Sister special Projects
they are putting together a panel on Friday December 4th
moderated by Kiran Gandhi, Music Industry Thinker and Activist
i think it is going to be fantastic - my point is simply that perhaps it is the object, or work, that makes men preferable in the market - the nature of the market is to sell work, it is pretty simple
if women don't produce more sell-able things, they will have less representation, and of course this only my limited opinion
I agree with that.
There has to be a way to hack the system and find alternative ways to address this, so artists in general can do what they want not what the market is asking them to provide.
i completely agree
but that makes "the system" problematic
and therefore a big monster to face
tricky subject and my perception tells me that artist have to learn to navigate the system .. especially if they want to change it
See, I don't think the artist is the only one who has to change it, I think curators, cultural producers, writers must to do so too, because they too face this problem.
what then, do you expect from the market?
how will it survive?
The market today is the market and we wont change it, I say we create new markets.
We can survive in the current market
The gap is getting smaller and smaller
wait.. we can or we can't survive?
We can't change the current market, we can hack it by creating other types of markets.
we can't survive**